First responders in Ogden ask for help as floods create new waterways

Apr 13, 2023, 8:08 PM | Updated: Apr 17, 2023, 11:37 am

OGDEN, Utah —First responders in Ogden asked for the public to help to recognize issues that could turn into flooding.

With such a huge snowpack, they’re seeing waterways form in places where they haven’t seen them before.

A lot of the focus was on waterways like the Weber River which overflowed the banks at Fort Buenaventura Park Thursday. Now those new waterways are a growing concern.

“We went from snowplowing heavy snow, lots of hours of snowplowing to now flood monitoring, making berms just to control the weather,” public service operations manager Vincent Ramos said.

They shored up the Weber River all day Thursday to contain some of the water that is filling up the low-lying areas.

At the same time, they’re preparing for new creeks and streams that are forming as the runoff comes off the mountain.

“We could hear this noise. We came out and there was water running down both gutters,” resident Wilford Hale said. “It just got bigger and bigger and bigger.”

Hale was at home Tuesday as water showed up outside his home near the Douglas Street Trailhead. He called 911.

“Fire truck came up and said, ‘Well it doesn’t look too bad’ and they left, went back down,” Hale said.

After more neighbors called, Hale said they came right back and dozens of his neighbors showed up to remove debris and lay down sandbags.

“I just can’t believe how neat the people are in this town,” Hale said. “Everybody was up here with shovels, helping to stop it.”

That response Tuesday prompted public works, Ogden fire, and police to work on better coordinating similar situations. They realized this flood season is already shaping up to be very different from past ones.

Ogden emergency manager Kenny Miller said, “We are asking residents if you see new flow patterns develop, please let us know so we can go up there and take a look at the issues and see if there’s something we do to help protect the property.”

The hope is that they can get on top of those new waterways before it becomes an emergency.

Sandy City leaders put out a similar call to residents.

“We are at the ready, we are monitoring it as we have been every day for weeks,” Monica Zoltanski, Sandy City Mayor said.

Little Cottonwood Creek is one of six waterways flowing into the city and bringing plenty of concern, Zoltanski said.

“We are on high alert, but were not in a panic mode,” Zoltaniski explained.

the city is doing what it can – but he needs the help of Sandy residents.

“If you see something, any emergency the 911 center will get it dispatched to our flood crews right away,” Tom Ward, Director of Public Utilities for Sandy City said.

Ogden residents who see one of those new waterways are asked to call the Ogden Police non-emergency line at 801-395-8221.

They have rapid response teams ready to assess and get help as needed.

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First responders in Ogden ask for help as floods create new waterways